Anti-hoon campaign helps reduce crashes

ONE year after the introduction of anti-hooning laws, the State Government says our streets are much safer.

Attorney-General and Member for Kawana Jarrod Bleijie believes families on the Sunshine Coast are benefiting from the introduction of "Australia's toughest anti-hooning legislation", which has taken hundreds of dangerous vehicles off the road.

"Using the LNP's laws and improved powers, police have impounded more than 13,000 dangerous vehicles state-wide and taken them off the road at the driver's expense," he said.

"More than 600 vehicles have been impounded for 3249 offences and 66 vehicles have been forfeited."

Clayton's Towing operations manager Mike Clayton agreed a noticeable decrease in car wrecks had occurred on the Coast in the past year.

"There has been a decrease in accidents on the Coast," he said.

"A lot of it is attributed not just to hooning laws but to a larger policing presence, with (more) speed cameras and point-to-point cameras."

Clayton's Towing is the only tow company to remove cars marked for impoundment on the Coast.

"They don't always get them towed either, only a small percentage."

"And a lot of those vehicles could be unregistered, unlicensed - it's not always hooning," Mr Clayton said.

While hoons contribute to dangerous road conditions for other drivers, the biggest challenge is convincing drivers to pay attention according to Garry Church, president of Road Trauma Services.

A former policeman of 37 years experience, Mr Church was part of forensic crash investigations for 15 years, and has seen many accident sites.

"Very rarely do you have an incident involving a crash with hooning in built up areas," he said.

"It's more of a nuisance offence - people get sick of hearing burnouts ... and black marks on roads."

He said the majority of road accidents are caused by drivers losing concentration.

"Ninety-nine percent of it could have been prevented by people doing the right thing and concentrating on their driving," he said.

It takes a car driving at 100kmh only 3.6 seconds to veer across the white line into oncoming traffic, he said.

"There needs to be more emphasis put on training drivers, particularly young drivers," said Mr Church.

"I'm not a strong advocate of advanced driving courses. I think you should be teach

ing young drivers how to never get into these situations in the first place."

He said people need to observe some basic rules of good driving.

"They should not travel too close, stick with their speed limits, and do not let other distractions interfere with their driving."

Education to those ends should be the number one priority, he says.

"Often you'll see drivers out there, even though it's a huge fine, you see people using mobile phones," he said.

"It worries me, because at 100kmh it only takes 3.6 seconds to cross the centre white line, in 100m.

"If you bend down and pick up your mobile phone or change a CD, or bend down to pick up a bit of food from your seat, that could be two seconds."

Topics:  hoons

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